2019 G.D. Vajra, Langhe Rosso, Piedmonte, Italy.
G.D. Vajra’s delicous Langhe Rosso, typically a blend of primarily the classic Piedmonte red varietals, Nebbiolo, Dolcetto, and Barbera, but it also has an interesting addition of Albarossa, an extremely rare local grape, Freisa and even a touch of Pinot Noir, which like Riesling has found a home in the region. As I’ve mentioned in recent years, this combination of grapes under the direction of Giuseppe Vajra makes for a unique Langhe red that shows silky tannins, lively red fruits, including brandied cherries, plum, cranberry, grilled citrus (Moro orange) and tart red currant along with wild herbs, delicate rustic earthy notes, floral elements, mineral and savory spices. This tasty Langhe Rosso is touch lighter in style when compared to the last two vintages, but is still an excellent bottle and it was fabulous with pizza and it is an outstanding value from this famous Barolo winery. Vajra is not a one trick pony, and I love their alternative wines, almost as much as their top Barolos, like the absolutely awesome dry Riesling, which I enjoy almost as much as their Barolo offerings, as well as the Vajra single varietal Dolcetto, Barbera, Nebbiolo and the Kye Freisa, all of which are very enjoyable, as is this Langhe Rosso.
The Vajra family continues the traditions of their father Aldo, who was a big advocate for organic and holistic farming that he pioneered in Piedmonte and he promoted vineyard sites, once thought to be too cold and too high up to ripen, but as history shows he was proven right. Vajra’s high elevation Barolo crus are some of the most prized plots in Italy. The Vajra Langhe Rosso is usually all stainless steel fermented and aged with each lot and varietal done separately and blended before an early bottling to preserve fresh brightness, purity and energy, which the 2019 highlights with finesse and style. As this wine opens, the Nebbiolo makes its prince known with savory tones and a bit more complexity shows up with cigar wrapper, rose petals, black tea and balsamic dipped strawberries. Vajra, as well noted, does a stunning collection of Barolo crus, under his family’s G.D. Vajra label, especially their signature Bricco Delle Viole, along with the Ravera, Coste di Rose, their newest cru, as well as the Luigi Baudana line, these are some of the most thrilling Nebbiolo(s) available. I am looking forward to catching up the latest releases from Vajra that are coming out soon, I am a huge fan of these wines and always try to get a selection of Vajra’s offerings, in particular the value bottlings like this one.
($20 Est.) 91 Points, grapelive